Over the last couple of weeks, I have improved dramatically. This makes sense based on what the doctor and the physical therapists told me. Once my bones and cartilage healed, the rest would fall into place. It is beginning to look like I’ll be back on the bike again, and possibly sooner rather than later.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll be able to increase my rehab and do some actual exercise, but I’m at the mercy of my doctor as to when I get back on the bike. My next appointment is 5/1/2014. Assuming I continue to make progress, then I expect to be cleared to ride. He’ll tell me to go easy, no major climbing or century routes — at least not yet. For the early going, I’ll need to ride around the neighborhood and maybe with some slow, social group rides. Given that I now get winded by walking up stairs, my heart probably couldn’t handle any climbs or long routes anyway.
The timing looks like it could work out for me to participate in The Good Ride on May 10th in Charlotte. Some of you might remember that I wrote an article for them a little while back, one that I was quite proud of. It seems only fitting that this will be the first stop on my comeback tour.
As much as I’d love to stick with the A group and ride without stopping, I’ll be more like a C. Depending on how I feel, I’ll opt for either the 22 or 36 mile route, and I’ll be riding closer to the rear of the pack. I’ll probably have to stop a time or two. The route will have rolling hills, and I’ll have to go very easy on the climbs.
But I’ll be riding, and that’s all that counts. And if any ride of mine would live up to the name, this one will. It will be a good ride, indeed.
If the doctor doesn’t clear me to ride, then I’ll plan to volunteer in the morning. We’ve already booked the hotel room and decided to make a weekend of it anyway.
From there, things are more up in the air. I’ll go very easily and gradually ramp up mileage (10% rule). The good news is I’ll have more free time in the summer, which means even if I cannot ride much, I’ll be able to continue with physical therapy. By that point, the focus will be more on return to sport, so it’ll all help me get back to 100% by the fall.
I’ve already mentioned that I’d like to ride Beach or Bust, and I’d like to do some climbing as well. If things go perfectly, then I could take a stab at the Blue Ridge Parkway this year, although that’s still a long shot at this point.